Shamus Roller on Housing Justice

For the past year and a half, we’ve been watching the numbers: Covid cases, ER beds, deaths, and, more recently, immunization rates. There’s another set of numbers, however, that has gotten less attention but is just as connected to this pandemic as any of these other figures: housing. The pandemic has been a huge test for our nation’s ability to house its residents, and so far we are failing miserably – experts estimate that 40 million Americans are vulnerable to losing their housing. The federal moratorium on evictions was lifted by the Supreme Court in September, and the vast majority of states have no protections in place to help people hold on to their homes. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Shamus Roller, the Executive Director of the National Housing Law Project, about housing challenges, evictions, and homelessness. We also discuss potential solutions to advance housing justice.

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Seth Berry: Maine Monopoly

This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Maine state representative Seth Berry about the shortcomings of his state’s power grid and recent efforts to create a consumer-owned model that is less reliant on fossil fuels. We look at the monopolistic nature of public utilities in Maine and several other states, examine some possible solutions to the problem, and get a glimpse into the political power brokers deciding who will keep the lights on Down East for decades to come.Read the show transcript

Beth Hoffman: Betting The Farm

It’s a familiar theme from television, the movies, and literature: city folk, sick of the hustle and bustle of urban life, decamping to a bucolic existence closer to the land. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to food and agriculture reporter Beth Hoffman, whose new book entitled “Bet The Farm” chronicles her recent transition from San Francisco to raising cattle at her husband’s family farm in Iowa. We discuss the challenges they’ve faced working to transform Whippoorwill Creek Farm into a more environmentally friendly business, take a look at the grass-fed beef industry, and examine the economics of being an American independent farmer in the 21st century.Read the show transcript

Tru Earth CEO Brad Liski: Detergent Insurgent

The next time you’re doing a load of laundry, take a second and think about all that goes into cleaning your clothes. You’ve probably contemplated the water and electricity this activity consumes, but if you’re like most Americans and you use liquid detergent, there’s also a lot plastic and gasoline involved, as well. This week on Sea Change Radio, we talk to Brad Liski, the CEO and co-founder of Tru Earth, a company that has pioneered a better way to clean clothes. The company’s unique paper-thin cleaning strips involve zero plastic packaging, and weigh nearly nothing in comparison to liquid detergents (which, incidentally,  comprise 80% water). This means no plastic waste as well as a lot less fuel required to transport product around the globe. We learn about the Tru Earth product, talk about slow progress toward environmental responsibility in the conventional laundry detergent industry, and discuss the need for a plumbing infrastructure that enables effective water re-use.

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Immune To Tragedy: Gun Regulations in America

Globally suicide accounts for about 20% of all gun-related deaths. But in the United States, the country with the highest per-capita civilian gun ownership, over 60% of deaths from firearms are suicides. What accounts for this disparity? And why do efforts at gun reform continue to fail in this country? This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with an attorney leading the charge for smarter, saner gun laws in the U.S. Robyn Thomas is the Executive Director of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. We take a look at trends over the past few years, examine disputes over the interpretation of the Second Amendment, and discuss the persistent political standstill which seems immune to tragedy.Read the show transcript

Sami Grover: We’re All Hypocrites Now

Have you ever heard the term climate hypocrite? Maybe you’ve noticed as it was applied to some high profile celebrity or advocate flying across the globe to give a speech on reducing carbon emissions? Or maybe you feared you yourself may be one as you sat in an air- conditioned office promoting the planetary virtues of a vegan diet? Our guest today on Sea Change Radio has thought a lot about this. He’s environmental journalist Sami Grover, whose first book entitled “We’re All Hypocrites Now” reminds us that environmentalists need not make the perfect the enemy of the good. We discuss the difficulty of trying to live a carbon-reduced lifestyle in a modern world largely built by fossil fuels, we talk about ways to as he puts it, live a little lighter on the earth, and we explore how regular folks who are not at the forefront of systems change may still have an influence beyond simply modifying their personal lifestyle choices.

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M Jackson: It’s Thin Where We’re Skating (re-broadcast)

Have you ever noticed that scientists historically are mostly white men? Do you think that this fact has skewed some scientific findings? Well, our guest today on Sea Change Radio has certainly noticed. This week, we speak to glaciologist M Jackson, who’s drawn attention from the right wing for the feminist perspective she applies to her research. We discuss her new book, The Secret Lives of Glaciers, dive into her research, and examine how and why science has been influenced by centuries of white male dominance.Read the show transcript

Rebecca Leber: Breaking Down Biden’s Climate Plan

The infrastructure bill currently being negotiated in Congress includes some important climate-related allocations. Environmentalists, of course, feel it doesn’t go far enough, while Republicans have already voiced opposition to the climate protections embedded in the bill. This week on Sea Change Radio, we talk to Rebecca Leber, an environmental reporter at Vox who has been covering the story. We take a deep dive into what the bill aims to do, look at the politics surrounding it, and discuss what it could mean not only for the US but for the international environmental community. And as the dog days of summer begin to wind down, we also examine some of the problems with our reliance on air conditioning.Read the show transcript

Celia Ouellette: The Business of Punishment in America

People sometimes like to quote that Bible passage about “an eye for an eye” when justifying a punitive criminal justice system focused on retribution and vengeance. Others like to repeat a saying often attributed to Ghandi, that “an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.” This week on Sea Change Radio, we get philosophical about crime and punishment. Our guest today is Celia Ouellette, a human rights lawyer and CEO of the nonprofit Responsible Business Initiative for Justice. Within the scope of her organization’s campaigns, we take a critical look at the American prison industrial complex and private prisons, the ineffectiveness of the death penalty, and the draconian practice of locking juveniles up for life.Read the show transcript

Rod Graham: Color-Consciousness Not Colorblindness

Many of us grew up under the impression that “colorblindness,” or pretending not to see racial differences was virtuous. An important contribution of critical race theory, however, is the recognition that the colorblind philosophy is tantamount to ignoring racial injustice. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Dr. Rod Graham, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and a contributor to The Editorial Board, espouses color-consciousness over colorblindness. We discuss the racial divide in America, what bridge-building across race might look like, and why majority rule cannot be counted on to advance the rights of a minority group.

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